By Christopher Torrenueva

Grade 11 Religion Quote Assignment

My presentation script below was written for my Grade 11 Religion Quote Assignment. I hope my philosophy on spiritual fulfillment will share some sense of illumination and reflect the lives of readers in order to help us all lead better lives.

Silhouette and Sun

Silhouette and Sun

The quote I selected for the Quote Assignment sheds light on homo sapiens sapiens, human beings, people, individuals, or however you want to call the most evolved life form on the planet. It lists the FIVE different ways that we humans are significant and is inspired by my own perception on the concept of humanness and great minds including Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, and Oprah Winfrey that have had a tremendous influence in shaping our world.

However, the quote I am about to share with all of you today did not just pop into my head in one sitting. It took years of adversity before I could finally stand here at this moment and hopefully provide everyone in this room with a new perspective on themselves as beacons of light that radiate happiness and enlightenment. To me, the quote I produced is not just a few words put on paper, but the five components that make up who I am, and every other individual, making us unique, special, and powerful beyond measure.

The quote is “Importance is defined by the 5 influential Is: Intelligence, Imagination, Integrity, Intuition, and Insight.”

For most of my life, I have felt inadequate, inefficient, and unimportant because I was never the brainiac that got all A-pluses, the athlete that has a shelf full of trophies, or the popular good-looking guy with blond hair and blue eyes. Most of my childhood involved moving from one school to another, and thus I was never able to truly stabilize my circle of friends or my sense of purpose.

Then, it hit me. I told myself, life is not about being the best in the world, it’s about being the best for the world. Life is a gift of existence, and you can choose to sink in a sea of shame and fear, or fly in skies of pride and courage. The truth is, not all of us are skilled experts, Olympic champions, or acclaimed as one of People’s Most Beautiful People. Still, we are all interrelated and interconnected beings that feed off of the spark within each soul and every spirit.

When I thought of this quote, I immediately realized that we are all on our own journeys with one ultimate desire. We all want to be accepted. We all want to be appreciated. We all want to be important. We can get so caught up with trying to impress others that we lose sight of what really matters. We were not put on this earth to be better than everyone else. We were given the gift of life to be our best selves, live our best lives, and fulfill our calling to serve as members of the human race.

We need each other’s intelligence to explain and understand everything that is around us. We need each other’s imagination to expand our horizons. We need each other’s integrity to make this world a better place. We need each other’s intuition to explain the unexplainable. We need each other’s insight to create a vision of hope that transcends the universe.

In my poster, a person is gazing into the distance with the sun shining on his or her face. This particular picture depicts an individual who has been awakened by the discovery of the person that he or she truly is and the path that he or she was born to lead as someone who is smart, creative, ethical, intuitive, and insightful, just like you and I.

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August 18, 2010 Posted by | Spirituality | | Leave a comment

“Where There’s a Wall” by Joy Kogawa

Read “Where There’s a Wall” by Joy Kogawa

Verbal-Visual Comment

The poem “Where There’s a Wall” by Joy Kogawa uses imagery and symbolism to enhance the effectiveness of the poem’s message. Like most other poems, “Where There’s a Wall” contains several layers of meaning, and requires the reader to dig through the little details and examples in order to see the big picture.

One segment of the poem makes references to passageways such as “a gate” (4) and “a door” (6). The part of the poem that says “I incline in the wrong direction / a voice cries faint as in a dream” (37-38) implies that God is telling the protagonist to follow the right direction in life. Another segment mentions “rockets, bombs” (15) and “armies with trumpets / whose all at once blast / shatters the foundations” (17-19). These words describe the aggressive method to approach a problem, which is considered as “the wrong direction” (37).

Kogawa selected these words and phrases for the purpose of illustrating a more religious and peaceful method of solving a problem, as well as a more violent and aggressive method. The image of the “gates of heaven” is supposed to symbolize living a life that is devoted to God and finding the lesson that is attached to every failure. The image of the “gates of hell” is meant to symbolize how people can resort to violent conduct, thinking that they would be able to get what they want immediately.

As indicated by the yin and yang symbol, nothing on the planet earth can be regarded as just good or bad or black or white. Because of this, being a child of God without asserting one’s values to others could lead to a world of misguidance. As such, trying to be the king of the world to spread God’s love just might convert the adversity of a minority into the values of the majority.

Verbal-Visual Collage

The verbal-visual collage below is dedicated to “Where There’s a Wall,” a poem by Joy Kogawa. The collage attempts to paint a picture of two separate paths, each with a different outlook in life. This is supposed to represent the two main ways to overcome an obstacle. One way is to trust that God has a reason behind every situation and that there is always a way to surpass life’s struggles. Another way is to take drastic measures in order to make a statement and push for a change.

Gates of Heaven

Gates of Heaven

This image of a gate open to heaven’s skies symbolizes how choosing to have faith in God will transform any kind of hardship into a pathway to salvation. However, this does not mean that one cannot use force to get a message across if the situation calls for it. For example, freedom of speech and assertiveness are usually desired in the Western world to ensure that everyone is aware of each other’s state of being.

Gates of Hell

Gates of Hell

This image of a closed gate that is guarding the fires of hell symbolizes how walking down the path of sins can open the door to evilness. However, this does not mean that every human being who challenges authority or breaks the law is immoral. Social activist Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest rebels in history, dedicated his life to promote equality during a time that was desperately in need of justice.

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August 15, 2010 Posted by | Creative Column | , , , , | Leave a comment


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